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The domestic terrorists of tomorrow are blocking traffic today

Reasonable people, usually old-school liberals, still don't understand the left. And so they also don't understand what happened to their movement, their party and their country.

A pro-Palestinian rally in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 10, 2023. Credit: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-Palestinian rally in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 10, 2023. Credit: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

After Hamas supporters were caught screaming “shame on you” at children receiving cancer treatment at a Manhattan hospital (“Make sure they hear you, they’re in the windows”) some people wondered what they were trying to accomplish.

Questions like that only reveal the vast gap between the pro-Hamas mob and everyone else.

The pro-Hamas protests, allegedly in pursuit of a ceasefire but in reality celebrating Hamas and now Houthi terrorism, have picked random fights with Starbucks, Christmas-tree lightings and Alec Baldwin, to name a few. They are not so much for anything as they are against things.

Reasonable people, usually old-school liberals, still don’t understand the left. And so they also don’t understand what happened to their movement, their party and their country.

Normal people think that protests are about spreading awareness and winning over others, and they don’t grasp why the rioters are spewing hate at them instead of trying to win them over.

The mobs aren’t there to persuade them, but to express their hatred for them. The common denominator of all of these riots is a burning desire to destroy everything around them. They’re not shutting down airports or smashing store windows to bring attention to a cause.

Smashing windows and shutting down airports is their cause.

Before Hamas, they were smashing windows for abortion, BLM and Occupy Wall Street, and against the Iraq War and to protest the World Trade Organization. Some of the same men in black who are smashing Starbucks windows now for Gaza were smashing them back in Seattle in the WTO protests of 1999. Before too long, they’ll need to retire and collect Social Security.

A quarter-century of smashing Starbucks windows clearly has nothing to do with Gaza.

They don’t care about black lives, the lives in Gaza or Iraq, or the lives of the poor; these are just the pretexts that provide them with moral superiority so they feel justified smashing things.

The pro-Hamas riots are a carbon copy of the BLM riots. Like the eco-terrorists, who have taken to vandalizing classical art in museums, their goal isn’t persuasion through awareness; it’s terrorism. They block traffic, airport travel and holiday events for whatever cause happens to be trending at any given time. Few of these leftists have any real sense of what Hamas is, and fewer still know who the Houthis are, but they’ll still scream about an “intifada.”

What they actually want has less to do with Gaza than with right here at home.

“When we finally deal that final blow to destroy Israel. When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism,” promised Manolo De Los Santos of The People’s Forum, which receives funds from Communist China and has been linked to pro-Hamas protests.

As David Horowitz frequently reminded us, sixties radicals preached that, “the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”

Individual causes, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights, Gaza, Iraq, income inequality, unions, Wall Street, abortion or criminals are just gateway drugs to radicalize a base for the leftist revolution.

Protests aren’t really “protests” in the sense that liberals think of them as being vehicles to rally for change. They’re the equivalent of Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks whose goal is to recruit, radicalize and empower the stormtroopers who are going to wage war against the world.

Blocking traffic or airports isn’t really about ending Israeli attacks on Hamas, but about inflicting misery on Americans and making the leftist perpetrators feel powerful and self-righteous by expressing their malice. Don’t think of these as protests; think of them as initiation sessions like those of gangs and cults in which new members prove themselves by hurting someone.

Protest-theater rewards leftist activists by making them the focus of attention. Cameras are on them as they berate anyone in sight, from kids with cancer to Alec Baldwin, for their lack of empathy, and then, justified by the conviction that everyone else is bad, they make them suffer.

Blocking school buses, ambulances and people coming home from work or shouting, “Shame on you” at kids with cancer is just part of the radicalization process. Its purpose is to make the activists cause pain while being so emotionally detached from their victims that they not only feel nothing when inflicting pain but feel morally superior.

The process produces people capable of not only blocking traffic but planting bombs.

That is exactly how this worked in the sixties. Protest rallies were deliberately turned into violent confrontations with police and National Guardsmen to radicalize a generation of leftist students. Only a small number of those actually formed organizations like the Weathermen, but millions more romanticized them and defended their cause. When the terrorists went into academia, entertainment and politics, those supporters swiftly put them into positions of power.

The same cycle has been repeating itself since the relaunch of the anti-war movement after 9/11. Those protests were followed by wholly manufactured causes like Occupy Wall Street and BLM that existed purely to radicalize and recruit a generation to fight a war against America.

The pro-Hamas protests are the work of most of the same coalition and have the same mission.

There are some members of the coalition, especially Islamists, who are deeply invested in the idea of a Hamas victory and the destruction of Israel, but most, like The People’s Forum, see destroying Israel as part of the larger leftist mission of destroying America and the West.

The pretext for the destruction matters much less than the overriding revolutionary goal.

Communist revolutionaries have exploited wars and food shortages to seize power, only to then inflict even worse wars and food shortages. Obama promised peace in the Middle East, an end to income inequality and the salvation of the planet. And all of these things only grew worse.

But following the Cloward-Piven model, leftists only make things worse. The purpose of leftist governments is to destroy countries by exacerbating every social, economic, geopolitical and cultural problem until they have brought societies to their knees and can seize total power.

Leftist protests, like the terrorists they support, are also not about fixing anything, but rather staging ugly hostile confrontations with police and the public to recruit the malicious and the disaffected (while playing the victim) and then escalating the violence and using it to take over a country.

It works. Consider who was in the White House before the BLM riots and who’s there now.

Revolutions need causes, but the only real cause of a revolution is its own power. Or as George Orwell wrote in “1984,” “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

A revolution requires people willing to kill. And so they need to be given reasons to kill. The “cause” is the process of finding those willing to kill and giving them the reasons to do it.

The same processes of training and recruitment that climaxed in the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel are underway in this country. DEI educational activists may not be as blatant about it as Hamas, but they share a similar goal of radicalizing a base until it is willing to commit any atrocity and still consider itself morally superior. The processes that produced men willing to rape and murder for Islam in Israel are also producing men and women in the West who are willing to cheer that on, as well as wage war against their own societies to protect those rapists and murderers.

The domestic terrorists of tomorrow are blocking traffic in the streets of our cities today.

Originally published by The Gatestone Institute.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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